November 1, 2013

Men's Hoops Picked Sixth In PBC Coaches Poll

AMERICUS - The Peach Belt Conference men's basketball preseason coaches poll was released Friday afternoon with Georgia Southwestern picked to come in sixth place out of 14 teams.

Uncertainty was evident amongst PBC coaches in regards to determining just how good the GSW squad team will be in 2013-14 as the Hurricanes received at least one vote for every position from third place to 11th. 

Head coach Mike Leeder welcomes back two starters from last year's squad that posted a 13-14 record overall and 9-10 mark in conference play. The Hurricanes retain veteran leadership in four-year member Jamon Hawkins (13.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.0 apg) and senior Adrian Knight (19 games started). Hawkins led the PBC in free throw percentage (90.5) last season while ranking second in 3-point shooting percentage (49.5) and 16th in scoring during conference play (14.9 ppg).

GSW also returns seniors Alan Arnett (12.6 ppg, PBC Player of the Week) and Daryl Davis (8.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg). Arnett finished last season ranked fifth in the conference in free throw percentage (80.0) and 19th in rebounding (6.3 rpg).

Seniors Derrick Dawkins and Bobby Glover will contribute this year after returning from injuries that forced both to sit out most of 2012-13. In addition, the Hurricanes welcome Charleston Southern transfer Johathon Brooks for his senior campaign.

There are two freshmen on the roster (Kashim Butler and Nyrryk Evans), no sophomores and three juniors (Kevin Burnell, Darius Redding and Josh Birchfield).

One thing that will not change this season for the Hurricanes is an emphasis on defense. Last year GSW held conference opponents to the third lowest field goal percentage (41.3) and the third-lowest points against average (67.6).

On the other end of the floor, GSW looks to build upon several strong offensive catagories as well, including field goal percentage (48.0 - third in the PBC) and rebounding margin (7.3 in conference play - ranked second).

The 2013-14 PBC favorite - USC Aiken - received 11 of a possible 13 first-place votes to finish with 167 total points. GRU Augusta and Montevallo tied for second with 150 points each.

Southwestern opens its season Nov. 8 at North Greenville.

The coaches preseason poll is listed below. Coaches were not permitted to rank their own teams.

 

Rank

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

11th

12th

13th

Total

1. USC Aiken
11 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 167
t2. GRU Augusta 2 5  0 0 0 0 150 
t2. Montevallo 1 150 
4. North Georgia 0 134 
5. UNC Pembroke 119 
6. Georgia Southwestern 92 
7. Columbus State 80 
8. Lander 77 
9. Francis Marion 0 0 0 0 0 4 3 0 2 1 2 1 0 75
10. Young Harris 63 
11. Armstrong 50 
12. Flagler 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 2 1 3 3 46
13. Georgia College 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 4 0 3 4 40
14. Clayton State 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 4 2 4 38

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